Here we are again, ready to liveblog the fall general meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, just as we did last year. (If you’ve opened this page mid-session, make sure you refresh your browser often to get the latest updates.)
Our thanks to Telecare, the television ministry of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, N.Y., for livestreaming the meeting from Baltimore.
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4:50 p.m.: Wrapping up for the day with Our Father and Hail Mary, then adjournment.
4:46 p.m.: “A principled position, not a political one,” he says. Also criticizes NYTimes editorial decrying bishops’ efforts.
4:44 p.m.: Bishop Murphy of Rockville Centre, N.Y., chair of the committee most responsible for formulating USCCB position on health care reform, now addressing bishops. Thanks staff for hard work.
4:43 p.m.: And it is endorsed by the bishops.
4:37 p.m.: Not on agenda, but Cardinal George is thanking members of the House of Representatives who voted to maintain restrictions on abortion funding in health care bill.
4:35 p.m.: Archbishop Dolan concludes by thanking bishops for listening to him “brag” about CRS.
4:21 p.m.: Another annual report, this time on Catholic Relief Services, presented by the chairman of the board, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York.
4:10 p.m.: Cardinal Rigali of Philadelphia now giving presentation on proposed document, “Life-Giving Love in an Age of Technology.” Here’s our preview story.
4:02 p.m.: Preliminary discussion on the bishops’ proposed pastoral letter on marriage.
3:53 p.m.: Here again we have a preview on what the bishops are trying to revise in their health care directives.
3:49 p.m.: Now on to preliminary discussion on a proposed revision to “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care.”
3:41 p.m.: Here’s our story on Cardinal George’s address this afternoon opening the meeting.
3:37 p.m.: If you’re having a hard time following the liturgy issues being discussed right now, here’s a backgrounder on these five action items.
3:24 p.m.: Back in session. First up, preliminary presentations on five liturgy-related action items. The bishops will not vote today — this is just preliminary discussion.
3:01 p.m.: Related to the meeting, we’ve just posted our story on the bishops’ commemoration of the assassination 20 years ago today of six Salvadoran Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter.
2:57 p.m.: Coffee break. Cardinal George wants everyone back at 3:20 to resume.
2:53 p.m.: Father O’Connell gets a standing ovation as he says good-bye and thanks the bishops for the privilege of serving them as president of “your university.”
2:43 p.m.: President of The Catholic University of America, Father David O’Connell, giving his annual update to the bishops. Notes that this is his last address to the bishops before stepping down next August.
2:42 p.m.: Archbishop Sambi concluding his talk. Hope to get the full text later.
2:27 p.m.: If you’re looking for background on the meeting agenda, here’s our preview story. And the bishops’ media office last Friday published this backgrounder called “What’s What at the Bishops’ Meeting.”
2:18 p.m.: Cardinal George concludes his address. Now up is the annual address by the pope’s representative to the U.S., Archbishop Pietro Sambi.
2:15 p.m.: Quotes his predecessor, Cardinal Bernardin, on the importance of health care protecting all people, including the unborn.
2:10 p.m.: Cardinal George is emphasizing the importance of the priesthood in this Year for Priests.
2:07 p.m.: VP of bishops’ conference, Bishop Kicanas of Tucson, is introducing Cardinal George for the latter’s presidential address, a sort of a “state of the church” speech that always opens the bishops’ fall meeting.
2:02 p.m.: You can also follow the meeting on the Twitter page of the USCCB media relations office.
1:58 p.m.: National Advisory Council report being given now. Council is a body of laity, religious, priests and bishops that give advice to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on issues facing the bishops. Here’s some background on the council.
1:45 p.m.: Routine opening business, intro of new members, intro of retired bishops who are attending. There’ll be a prayer for deceased bishops, approval of agenda, approval of minutes from previous meeting, before any other action takes place.
1:40 p.m.: That’s Bishop Edward J. Burns, of Juneau, Alaska, leading the opening prayer.